Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a city of culture and great cuisine. Renowned as one the art capitals of Europe, art lovers return to the city many times, as it is home to a vast collection of famous masterpieces. Throughout the city there are beautifully landscaped gardens and exquisite boulevards, such as the Gran Via which must be explored. Madrid is full of soul, especially due to its lively nightlife.
Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal palace of Madrid is the official home to the Spanish Royal Family. Despite this, the palace is only used for state ceremonies and the Royal Family no longer reside here. The grand building is the largest royal palace in Europe. Made up of over 3,000 rooms it took around twenty-five years construct. With its sizable interior and extensive plazas and gardens, be sure to spend time here to experience its magnificence.
Paseo del Prado, The Prado Museum
The Prado Museum is Madrid’s and Spain’s national art museum. Within you will have the opportunity to look in awe at some of the most famous masterpieces from paintings to sculptures. The museum is one of the worlds most visited sites and quite possibly the best for art in the world. It contains over a thousand pieces on display from some of the most famous artists including, Titian, El Greco and Velazquez and Goya.
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Two of giants of La Liga and football, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid C.F are based in the city. The Santiago Bernabeu is the home of Real Madrid C.F. Some of the most acclaimed trophies in football have been won by this prestigious club. Also, the biggest names in football have graced their footballing talent here. The stadium was inaugurated in 1947 and was named after one of the club legends Santiago Bernabeu Yeste. Take a stadium tour and you’ll be amazed by this modern day amphitheatre.
Parque del Buen Retiro
The Parque del Buen Retiro, the park of pleasant retreat, is one of the largest parks in Madrid and was fabricated in the 1600’s. The park is the perfect spot to relax and unwind if you are looking to escape the booming city streets for a moment. Here you will find stunning monuments and picturesque gardens such as the Monument to Alfonso XII, which is next to an artificial lake where you can hire out a rowing boat, and the Garden of Vivaces . It is also a great place for families as there are exhibitions, puppet shows, and playgrounds for the kids to aenjoy.
Parque de Atracciones
If you fancy getting your adrenaline going then this is the place for you. Opened in 1967 this park is right near the heart of the city. There is fun to found here for the whole family. The park does get busy with an estimate of over 1 million visitors a year so it could be worthwhile purchasing a skip the line ticket, but this is optional.
The Plazas and Boulevards of Madrid
Madrid has many vast plazas and boulevards. During your city break here these cannot be missed. The plazas include the Plaza de Cibeles, just off the Gran Via, and the Plaza Mayor, where you will find plenty and cafes and restaurants.
The Gran Via is a stunning Broadway and is one of the main roads in the city. Here you will really feel the buzz of the city. The incredible architecture along this thoroughfare is something to behold. Another that must be experienced, is the Paseo del Prado. The street shares its name with the famous art museum and is Madrid’s best-known boulevard. It is beautifully treelined and makes for a cultural hub in the centre Madrid.
Map of Madrid
History and Culture of Madrid
This history of Madrid goes back to as early as the Muslim age in 9th century when Emir Muhammed requested the building of a fortress on the banks of the river Manzanares. It remained under Muslim control until 1083, when Alfonso VI of Castile claimed the city.
Moving forward to the Hapsburg era in the 16th and 17th centuries, Madrid was a Capital of an ever-expanding empire, yet it was an understated city compared to others with a similar status of the same period. Despite this, the Hapsburg dynasty started to crumble due to poor management and eventually left Spain as a social and economic disaster. Walking the street, you will still see remnants of this era.
The 18th century brought with it the beginning of the Bourbon dynasty. During this time there was a dramatic transformation of the architecture in Madrid. The building of monuments, palaces and gardens took place, of which you can see today.
1936 – 1939 saw civil unrest in Spain, and Madrid was one of the most affected due to the civil war. After the war had ended, from 1959 – 1973, it experienced great economic growth and become one of the wealthiest cities in Europe.
Today, it is considered as one of the most dynamic and beautiful cities in Europe.
Pictures of Madrid
Hotels In Madrid
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